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Clean and Repair Vintage Postcards and Double or Quadruple Your Profits on eBay
There are ways to make a good card even better and more attractive to bidders. In this way, an ordinary card can be promoted to supercard status and become the subject of bidding, turning a card that cost you a few pence into a three-figure item with multiple bids on eBay. But you have to be very careful when cleaning these fragile items or you can eliminate all resale possibilities.
* Postcards often become soiled where the margins have been opened on the sides of the stack or album containing the postcards. It is very common to see a blank postcard with dirty margins, and this is the only part of the document that is exposed to dust, dirt, water and sunlight on a daily basis. Most of the dust can be cleaned with a soft eraser or a piece of dry bread.
Use a large eraser or a large piece of bread to keep your fingers from touching the card and your nails from scratching or tearing the delicate paper. Hold the card very carefully by both corners closest to the dusty margins and do not rub the card too hard, as friction will cause the paper to crumple and crease.
With an eraser or bread between the thumb and fingers of the other hand, lightly rub the dusty area in one direction. Do not use straight strokes directly on the card as this will tear or thin the material. If the dust does not move, leave it, too much friction will damage the surface, affect the drawing and make it useless.
* Real photo postcards are often dirty or covered in fingerprints and are the easiest to clean. Real photo postcards also wrinkle quite easily, which is usually not a problem, except when dirt gets into the folds and the condition looks worse than it really is. Again, place the card on a hard surface, the finger and thumb of one hand, slightly stretched, make smooth movements in one direction over the contaminated areas with a damp kitchen towel or facial tissue.
Use light movements, do not rub, otherwise you will leave marks, you can even tear the card or remove part of the surface. Lanolin-based facial and baby wipes are especially gentle on photo cards, and you can apply a little extra pressure along the smudged crease line. Do not rub the fold line, otherwise the card will fall apart. Don’t expect to remove all the dirt, these items are very old and fragile, too much friction will damage and reduce the value of the card.
* Most cards, with the exception of some printed and most real photo types, were printed with layers of paper and were not actually made from card at all. The top of the usually three layers is the image part, the bottom is the address part, usually with an extra layer in between for support.
The layers often diverge at the edges, sometimes they diverge completely, usually due to dampness. It is difficult, almost impossible, to glue layers that have completely disintegrated, it takes time and skill, and the result is rarely worth seeing on a regular card.
Most household glues are thicker than those used to create the original card and give the finished card a lumpy appearance that also looks and feels too thick. If the layers are separated at the corners and the main body of the card remains intact, you can easily apply a dot of glue between each layer, smooth it out with a glue bottle nozzle, then place the card on a flat, hard surface and gently smooth it out. repair with light movements of a clean finger. Outlining or glue can seep through and your card will stick to the surface and be impossible to remove.
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